Red4Ed Update 5/2/18 5:15pm MST

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Just now, I received this:

#RedForEd must act now. Call, text, or email your legislators. The Governor seems close to passing his partisan budget that we oppose. The House of Representatives is now on the floor with all sixty members taking the first official vote on the budget and debating the budget bills and amendments. The bill is expected to be heard in the Senate soon.

#RedForEd has friendly legislators who will be introducing amendments to the budget that support the #RedForEd demands. This is our chance, and you need to contact legislators now with a simple message. Tell them to support the four #RedForEd amendments:

  1. Cap class size at 25 students per classroom
  2. Defines “Teacher” as: any non-administrative personnel who teaches students or supports student academic achievement as defined by the school district governing board or charter school governing body including, but not limited to nurses, counselors, social workers, psychologists, speech pathologists, librarians and academic interventionists.
  3. Cap student-to-counselor ratio at 250:1
  4. Student support services personnel should receive a 10% increase equal to the teacher pay proposal, go into base level and be paid for by tax conformity.

Contact your legislators NOW to ask them to the #RedforEd amendments.

Beholden

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orchid doodle

 

I am grateful for the early morning intention

To feed my daughters earth’s fruits

At lunch when I am absent

my love is omnipresent

I am grateful for the pesky wind

That musses “perfect” hair

And shouts sweet nothings in my ears

All are signs that I’m alive

I am grateful for the cuts on my fingers

They scream silently as I work

scabs, wrinkles, dry cuticles – 

My hands are marked with ravages of time and labor

 

Buying Fishing Tackle

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Photo by Gabby Orcutt

Her name was Daisy.

She got blue ice cream.

After she named all the colors of the various dots on the ice cream window (blue, red, orange, green, and purple), I told her parents that she was adorable. I asked her, “How old are you?”

She held three fingers up.

“Wow, you know all of your colors and you jump so high and you’re only three?”

She nodded yes. Not proud, not shy, just being factual.

“My name is Daisy. What is your name?” Her voice was a shiny bell.

“Caroline.”

“How old are you?”

Her parents and I laughed.

“A LOT older than you!”

Her brows furrowed and she asked, “Why can’t you tell me?”

 

And I realized that I have bought into it hook, line and sinker*. Why was I being coy about my age? Because I’m a woman? Because 49 is old?

 

“I’m 49.”

She turned to her ice cream, satisfied. Not judgmental. Not shocked. Simply satisfied.

I watched her spoon blue ice cream into her mouth.

And I thought, I’m 49.  I’m not proud, not shy, just factual.

 

*American idiomatic phrase

 

 

The Key to Writing Great Fiction

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Photo by Paul Brandeo

“The very first thing I tell my students on the first day of a workshop is that good writing is about telling the truth.”

Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird

The truth. It’s clear we want the truth, even in fiction. We can spot a lie within a fiction story instantly.  That character would never do that! And then we get angry. Have you ever watched your favorite TV series and then someone does something completely out of character and it makes you so angry you quit watching? Ahhhh…for the love of ratings!

Great art is about presenting the truth. It has to come honestly from the heart, not from the desire to shock or manipulate emotions or increase your follower count.

Lamott emphasizes throughout her book the importance of allowing the characters to come to you and to reveal themselves to you. She cautions against inserting dialogue, action and plot that doesn’t emanate naturally from the characters. It will sound forced because it IS forced.

I’m not a painter, sculptor, photographer or actor, but I believe this philosophy pertains to all arts.  As a famous sculptor once said,

“…a knot of wood or a block of marble made it seem that a figure was already enclosed there and my work consisted of breaking off all the rough stone that hid it from me”.”\

Auguste Rodin (The Guardian)

Observe. Wait. The truth will reveal itself.